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Research in Biomedical Optics

Research in Biomedical Optics and Spectroscopy

Biomedical applications of lasers and laser spectroscopy are changing the face of medicine as it is currently practiced. The mission of the Laser Biomedical Research Center (LBRC), an NIH-sponsored research resource center, is to develop the scientific understanding required for advancing the applications of lasers in medicine and biology. Advanced spectroscopic methods are created for fundamental research involving biochemicals, cells, and ex vivo tissue samples to advance scientific understanding. Basic research serves as a foundation for instrumentation development and spectral model refinement that often results in the deployment of these techniques in clinical trials at medical centers and hospitals.

Biomedical initiatives within the LBRC have resulted in the development of new spectroscopic methods to diagnose disease through minimally invasive procedures using absorption, fluorescence, Raman and intensity-based light scattering techniques; novel technologies for spectroscopic imaging of disease, in particular field-based light scattering techniques such as low-coherence interferometry and quantitative phase microscopy; and improved understanding and modeling of light transport in tissue. Basic studies in biophysics and biochemistry are also pursued to support the development of novel spectroscopic methods of disease diagnosis.

Currently, the LBRC has core and collaborative projects in the following areas:

A. Core Projects:

A.1. Spectroscopic Tissue Diagnosis
    A.1.1 Overview
    A.1.2 Methods
        A.1.2.1 Raman spectroscopy
        A.1.2.2 Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy (DRS)
        A.1.2.3 Intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy (IFS)
    A.1.3 Instrumentation
        A.1.3.1 Multimodal Spectroscopy (MMS)
        A.1.3.2 Raman clinical instrument
        A.1.3.3 Tissue scanner for margin assessment
        A.1.3.4 FastEEM
        A.1.3.5 mini-FastEEM
     A.1.4 Clinical Applications
        A.1.4.1 Spectroscopic diagnosis of breast cancer
        A.1.4.2 Spectral diagnosis of cervical dysplasia
        A.1.4.3 Spectroscopic diagnosis of oral cancer
        A.1.4.4 Spectroscopic detection of atherosclerotic plaques

A.2 Non-Invasive Measurement of Blood Analytes using Raman spectroscopy
    A.2.1 Overview
    A.2.2 Pioneering Work
    A.2.3 Methods
    A.2.4 Instrumentation

A.3 Confocal Raman & Quantitative Phase Microscopy

A.4 Quantitative Microscopy and Tomography
    A.4.1 Overview
    A.4.2 Quantitative Phase Microscopy
        A.4.2.1 Diffraction phase microscopy
        A.4.2.2 Dispersion phase microscopy
        A.4.2.3 Line-field reflection phase microscopy
        A.4.2.4 Wide-field reflection phase microscopy
    A.4.3 Quantitative 3-D Imaging
        A.4.3.1 Tomographic phase microscopy
        A.4.3.2 Synthetic aperture tomography
        A.4.3.3 Reflection tomographic phase microscopy

A.5 Imaging through Turbidity
    A.5.1 Overview
        A.5.1.1 Digital phase conjugation
        A.5.1.2 Field-based assessment of scattering matrix
        A.5.1.3 Speckle-field based phase microscopy

B. Collaborative Projects:

B.1 FDTD simulation of light propagation in turbid media
B.2 Malaria biology and detection
B.3 Spectroscopic monitoring of chemotaxis in m-fluidic channels
B.4 Spectroscopic diagnosis and imaging of breast cancer
B.5 Multimodal prostate cancer detection
B.6 Membrane dynamics of human red blood cells
B.7 Efficient light delivery for photodynamic therapy

C. LBRC outside projects

C.1 Spectroscopy for selection of embryo and oocyte
C.2 Cell growth cycle using dry mass measurements
C.3 Non-invasive monitoring of drug's effect on MM cells